Governor Ayodele Fayose Of Ekiti State Says Asking Nigerians To Brace Up For Hardship In 2016 Is Wicked And A Sign Of Lack Of Ability To Change The Economy For Better
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has asked President Mohammadu Buhari to throw in the towel and hand over leadership to a more competent person if he no longer has any ideas on how to change the economy. He said that it was callous for President Buhari to tell Nigerians to brace up for more hardship in 2016.
According to Fayose, the President should resign and allow someone who is more competent to run the affairs of the nation, if he is no longer capable of leading. Fayose was lashing out at President Buhari during the formal presentation of some bills passed by the Ekiti State House of Assembly to him for assent.
The six bills include those of Ekiti State College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture Repel Law, 2015 Revised Appropriation Bills, 2016 Appropriation Law, Kidnap and Terrorism Law, Ekiti State Office of Public Defender and Ekiti State Regency Law 2015. Condemning the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s government for considering such measures as cutting jobs, de-valuing the naira and reducing minimum wage of workers among others, Fayose said: “They promised to give millions of jobs every year but now they want to cut 7 million jobs and they are telling Nigerians to expect hardship in 2016; if the President is not competent he should resign and allow any other person to take over.
Even if he gives it to Osinbajo, we are not bothered; we just want somebody who could lead well”. Fayose, who also asked the members of the State House, particularly the Speaker, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, to ensure that the state 2016 budget document was made available to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for scrutiny, said “we must ensure that this document is accessible to all”.
He however warned members of the public not to “write proposals that are outside this budget because I won’t accept it”. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, had warned that strict economic measures being put in place would lead to more austere conditions. Udo-Udoma, dropped the hint during the consideration of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) at the Senate, pointing out that it was important that substantial reductions were made on the spending pattern to be able to usher in the change that is still being expected.
“In preparing the MTEF, we seek a dramatic shift from spending on recurrent to spending on capital aspect of the budget. It is going to be tighter for everybody. All non essential expenditure would be cut out. We will reduce the overheads by seven percent. We are beginning a journey of change and change has to start with the clarity of purpose of where we are going,” he added.
Explaining this position further, the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, informed the joint committee of the National Assembly that was processing the MTEF that expenditure of all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would be strictly monitored to avoid wastes. She said that government would take steps to ensure that whatever money was being taken from the account of any MDA was done electronically.
The Finance Minister equally disclosed that measures had been put in place to compel revenue generating MDAs to remit all funds they generated to the treasury. “The country paid N1.8 trillion in 2015 as personnel cost, but there is a strategy in place in the 2016 Budget to reduce it by N100 billion. For instance, we are already working with banks so that we can go cashless, so that we could give debit cards to MDAs to procure items.”
– Emmanuel Ani, Ado Ekiti